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On the Home Front: The Cold War Legacy of the Hanford Nuclear Site Paperback – March 1, 2002


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 375 pages
  • Publisher: University of Nebraska Press; 2nd edition (March 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803271018
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803271012
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,477,400 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Given current concerns about the safe disposal of by-products from nuclear weapons and power plants, this is a highly relevant historical work. Gerber reminds us that some communities have already confronted this issue by telling the story of the Hanford Nuclear Site, a facility in Washington state for manufacturing radioactive raw materials that was begun at the time of the Manhattan Project. Although aware of the potential dangers, those involved in developing the facility placed short-term needs ahead of long-term health and environmental issues. In addition, the promise of economic development led many nearby residents to avoid asking questions about their future well-being. Postwar pressure to deliver products necessary for the massive build-up of weapons during the Cold War, combined with an inadequate understanding of the consequences of the activities at Hanford, led to an irreversibly hazardous situation by the 1980s. Though a bit wooden in style, Gerber's treatment is both scientific and humane. Well worth reading.
- Charles K. Piehl, Mankato State Univ., Minn.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

Praise for the first edition: "On the Home Front should be read by everyone who cares about public policy and the environmental issues that dominate this post-modern world."--Western Historical Quarterly. "[Gerber's] skill in reconstructing the story of Hanford's environmental ravages has given us a book that can both alarm and instruct."--Journal of American History. "[Declassified documents] reveal a five-decade pattern of environmental insult that is breathtaking in its scope and pervasiveness... The story [Gerber] tells grips us: the sticky web of strategic choices involving Hanford and its purposes has ensnared every inhabitant ... of the Pacific Northwest for more than half a century."--Oregon Historical Quarterly

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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By S. Lorenzen on August 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
Dr. Gerber reduced the thousands of documents, memos, and misc data declassified reguarding the Hanford Area and the surrounding region from the very beginning of the Manhattan Project. Having lived there for a majority of my life in what was once the "Richland Village" and going to a high school with a mascot of the Bombers, this book was particularly interesting to me. It also allowed me to carry intelligent conversation with my grandfather (who worked there from the 50's till the 80's). Highly technical in parts but with some explaination, I reccommend you read a bit about radioactivity and geology to assist your understanding of the content.
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3 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Matyowynne on October 27, 2004
Format: Paperback
I grew up in Richland and went to Hanford High School during the Reagan/Bush years. I found her book interesting, but it seemed to lack the details I was trying to learn more about, primarily the role of HEAL and other citizen action groups to promote more honesty about the dangers of plutonium production. Growing up around "the Area" I found not a lot of awareness about these issues and even found myself avoiding them for the last twenty years of my life! Her book brought back to me the mindset of the area that allows that kind of cloud. She gives only one or two sentences each for HEAL and the Downwinders, without whose work she would not have had the material for her book. None at all to the incredible journalism of Steele at the Spokesman Review and no mention of the whistle blower Casey Ruud. I found that lapse pretty typical of Hanfordization. I remember my Physics teacher telling our class that automobile engines were more dangerous than spent uranium fuel which could be used to power everything in the future. I guess he didn't really consider the use of dirty bombs, <sigh> . . . I found the book Atomic Harvest more informative.
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On the Home Front: The Cold War Legacy of the Hanford Nuclear Site
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